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Longview, Texas, United States | SELF

Longview, Texas, United States | SELF
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"Top 20 Bands to Watch in 2011 Artist Spotlight"

When Jen Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions introduced me to the boys from Brannigan, I was floored. Not only was their single, "The Lucky Sound," full of hooks and good music, but the boys themselves had a maturity and charisma that far exceeded their youth. I introduced you to them in a prior article ( and based on that initial evaluation, felt compelled to include them in my list of Twenty to Watch in 2011.

Brannigan has put together a nifty teaser video ( that is one of the best intros I have ever seen for a new band trying to break into the market. Under the tutelage of their management team (Jen Lyneis and Matt Noveskey of Wanderlust A.M.P.), Brannigan has secured endorsement deals from Sennheiser and Gibson.

I finally got to meet and interview them at a party held in their honor at Ue3 Promotions during NAMM week. Brannigan is composed of brothers Nick and Jay Baker and their friend Mac Carl. Nick plays bass and keyboards, Jay plays guitar and Mac provides the percussive foundation. Nick and Jay share in the vocal duties.

Brannigan has been together for five to six years, although they were previously known as The Vehicle Reason. They changed their name so that it would be more memorable. In light of their Irish backgrounds and the fact that they like to cause a scene wherever they go, the name "Brannigan" seemed a natural fit, and was more suitable to their style. Nick explained, "To us, the true spirit of a good rock and roll show is to have fun and get rowdy and boisterous. We don't start trouble, but we won't walk away from it if it comes around."


All three members of Brannigan participate in the songwriting, as each of them has a different slant. They each bring ideas to the table, pick them apart, and the good ones get turned into songs. Jay considers his songwriting to be melody driven, which then sparks the lyrics. He says, "The best part of being a musician is writing songs."

They email the lyrics back and forth among the three of them until they are all in agreement. They want their songs to be stories -- finite thoughts, like the great songs written by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and other country artists. They have notebooks filled with lyrics, all waiting for the right melody to come along.

Brannigan wants to finish recording their first album, shop it out for a possible record deal, and tour the country in 2011. They will play anywhere and anytime. They are anxiously awaiting the chance to play SxSW this year, as well as continue to perform throughout their native Texas.

You can keep up with Brannigan through their website at, on YouTube (Branniganmusic), Facebook (Brannigan) or Twitter (wearebrannigan) or by email at

Watch for these guys in your rearview mirror -- they'll be passing through soon!

By Bob Leggett
Griffith Park/Los Feliz Examiner
Bob Leggett has been covering the music scene for the past 10 years, and has contributed to Live Magazine, Music Connection Magazine, Associated... Read more

Continue reading on Twenty to watch in 2011: Artist spotlight on Brannigan - Los Angeles Los Feliz | - February 2011

"Top 20 for 2011"

Twenty to watch in 2011

January 2nd, 2011 4:46 pm PT
Bob Leggett
Griffith Park/Los Feliz Examiner
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Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as we said goodbye to 2010 and opened the door to the new opportunities coming our way in 2011.

Last year was a breakout year for many indie artists, but I believe that 2011 will be an even bigger year. With that in mind, here's my list of the 20 artists to watch in 2011. I have listed them in alphabetical order, as even I do not want to try and "predict" which one of them will have the biggest impact. Here we go!

Brannigan ( - This band out of the great state of Texas is about to take the world by storm. With the help of Ue3 Promotions (, these guys will soon be a household name in the world of rock.

Brandon Chandler ( - Based in Portland, Oregon, this singer-songwriter is ready for the big time. Watch for the release of "At War With Love," an incredible tune co-written by Mikal Blue and Andrew Williams.

Clara C ( - With a huge YouTube following, this songstress is ready to burst upon the scene.

Katie Costello ( - This young lady has already proven herself with placements in television, and unique videos homemade on her iPhone.

David and Devine ( - With the release of their first music video, starring Mariana Klaveno (True Blood), and their first EP, this duo is about to show the world what they are capable of.

The Elevaters ( - Combining classic funk with rap, these guys are poised to revolutionize the music industry with their unique brand of "Get up and Dance" music.

Hope ( - With an incredible video featuring Jason Mraz (, this young lady is a force to be reckoned with.

Karmina ( - This sister duo brings a new kind of music - "sparkle rock."

Lady Danville ( - A product of the UCLA music community that launched Sara Bareilles, Maroon 5 and Tyrone Wells, this quartet has been touring with Ben Folds, among others.

Continue reading on Twenty to watch in 2011 - Los Angeles Los Feliz | - January 2011

"Interview with Mac Carl of Brannigan"

Check out this band on the rise!
January 13th, 2011Mikiel HouserCategory: Featured Artist, Interview1 Comment

Brannigan might not be a household name yet, but this little band that could is quickly working their way up the music industry ladder. With a sponsorship from Sennheiser USA and a feature on the company’s homepage, two songs in the Top 10 of iHeartRadio’s Alternative section, and a new EP produced by Matt Noveskey (of Blue October fame), Brannigan is setting up 2011 the right way. Below Mac and I discuss the formation of the band, their recent name change, and what it was like to work with producer/musician Matt Noveskey.
For people who might not know so much about Brannigan, can you tell us a little bit about the background of the band?
Okay. Well Jay and Nick are brothers, and Jay and I were friends that were both into music, but were kind of just acquaintances. One day he invited me out to hear a band that he was in. I had been in several bands before, and I went out to check out their band and it kind of spawned a musical friendship of ours. Then Jay and I just started jamming with an acoustic guitar and a drum kit. I kind of talked him into being a lead singer.
We would play the best songs that we had written when Nick would come around. Finally one day he walks in after we had written a song called “Beautiful,” and he was like, “Okay, let me get my bass,” and so we’ve been together ever since.
At that point you guys actually went under the name The Vehicle Reason. What made you decide to change that up after being TVR for so long?
I was probably the least happy with the name. It was one of those things where we had probably 20 ideas of band names written down, on somebody’s time card of all things. We just had to think of a name because we had shows booked, and I was always pretty pushy, so I was like, “Okay, we need to play some shows, we need to get in the studio,” and we didn’t have a name. We didn’t really care about that. It was all about writing music at the time, so that’s the one that we chose.
I always felt like it was hard for people to grasp. It was such an abstract name. One day I thought to myself, “Wow, more people like this music and this band than I thought would,” so that was part of the reason for the change. One day Jay was like, “Hey, I’ve got an idea I want you to check out.” I heard it, and I was like, “That’s awesome.” I went home and looked it up and was like, “Oh wow, that’s scary how accurate it is regarding who we are,” so it was just one of those decisions that was really easy to make. The hard part is changing the social networks and changing the infrastructure on the internet. That was probably the toughest part of changing names, but our fans have really supported the change, and it was very easy from that standpoint.
Do you feel that you guys have kept a very similar style of music since the band’s formation?
You know, I really do. I think the longer that we’ve been writing music, hopefully we’re getting better. We’re learning our craft and getting a chance to work with different producers. You kind of soak up all their tricks and learn from them. I’d like to think that we’ve grown, but I definitely wouldn’t say that we’ve shifted direction at all. I think our unspoken motto has always been, “Don’t try to sound like anything. Just let it come out and then treat each song according to how the song tells you as a musician that it wants to be treated.”

You mentioned working with different producers. You worked with Matt Noveskey from Blue October on the most recent EP, Lucky Sound. What was that experience like?
I didn’t really know what to expect when we first got to the stage of meeting. Obviously there are not that many guys out there that are in platinum-selling rock bands. It’s kind of weird. You’re like, “Okay, I’m going to meet this guy,” and you don’t know if it’s gonna be weird and if he’s gonna totally big time you. We went and sat down and just discussed things over dinner at a restaurant in Austin. By the end of the conversation it was like he was our long-lost brother. It seemed like he really got the music. He understood where we were coming from as artists. It was really for us to say, “Yeah, I want to work with this guy.”
In the studio, it was more like he was one of us than a producer. He would definitely assert opinions, and we would respect them like we would any producer. We would also respectfully decline to do what he told us to do sometimes. It was just a really cool vibe to work with him, but I’d be lying if I told you that you didn’t take somebody that has had such songwriting success’ suggestion a little bit more strongly.
What do you feel that he brought to the overall sound of the album?
I definitely think that Matt understands the thought process behind recording a single. He definitely brought experience. It was cool because we’ve always been a band that is like, “Okay, just give it to us straight. If you hate it, say it,” and that was kind of strange for him because I think maybe sometimes bands really aren’t open to just brutal honesty. That’s just how we’ve always operated because it takes so much more time to worry about feelings. I always think it’s at the expense of the song. So Matt was really cool about being nice to us. [LAUGHTER] I think the main thing that he brought to the table is the experience of somebody who’s had singles on the radio. I think that would definitely be one of Matt’s strong points. He knows how to highlight a hook.
Do you feel like he brought a level of knowledge and understanding to the band from an industry standpoint?
Absolutely. Having that kind of experience is incredibly rare, having somebody work with our band that has gone from being a nobody in a baby band to all the steps between that and being a worldwide platinum-selling artist. I think we never really went in with the intention of working with Matt, or I don’t think he had the intention of working with us any further than doing the record. There were no promises made and no questions asked about that. I think just the way the album turned out or has turned out so far, coupled with the vibe that the four of us got working together, it was kind of like, “Okay, well what now?” It’s really nice to have somebody that is an artist that knows how you feel as an artist when you’re dealing with the industry side of things.

On a separate note, you guys currently have the #1 spot on iHeartRadio for the alt rock section. How did that come about?
Actually, a good friend of ours and somebody that we’ve worked with for several years, Jennifer Lyneis with Ue3 Promotions, just kind of had the idea of, “Hey, I’ve got a contact here. Let’s see what they think about the single.” So she sent it to iHeart, got a response that they wanted to feature us as an Artist on Demand for the month of November in 2010.
Then I think maybe a couple weeks into November, I woke up one morning and I got a call from Jen and she’s like, “They featured you guys.” Well I think the next day we were at #3, and I remember looking at the chart and seeing Mumford and Sons at #1 and Neon Trees at #2. Lo and behold, the next day we were at #1. I’m like, “Okay, I need to refresh my browser. Is this right?” [LAUGHTER] Every day I get an email from somebody that’s like, “Hey you guys are at #1 again,” and I’m like, “Whoa!” It feels really good to know that people understand the song and that the song’s resonating with listeners.
You guys are out at NAMM this year?
Yeah, we have been working with Sennheiser for two years. The guy that became our rep, Tim Moore with Sennheiser, ran sound for a showcase that we were playing down on 5th Street during South By Southwest. I remember thinking, “We’re out in this tent on 5th Street and this guy’s doing an amazing job.” I remember actually being able to hear myself, which if you’ve been to a lot of South By Southwest shows, you know that’s a big luxury. [LAUGHTER]
That’s where our relationship began, and I think Tim really got the music as well. He asked us if we were interested in working with Sennheiser. It’s like somebody asking you if you want a golden brick. [LAUGHTER] You don’t say no. It’s such a great company. We’ve had a really, really positive relationship with the brand ever since. They’ve actually given us the opportunity to debut a video on their website. It’s just really cool that such a large worldwide company actually works with the little independents like us, as well as working with people like the Foo Fighters. It’s very humbling.
Awesome. What else do you have planned for next year? You’ve got the EP coming out, the big NAMM show, and then what’s the rest of the year shaping up to be looking like at this point?
I think when we leave Los Angeles, if we ever leave, [LAUGHTER] we might stop in Vegas on the way home and check out the Gibson custom shop. We’re total nerds when it comes to guitar and drum gear. It’s like putting us in a Toys R Us for big kids. So any opportunity that we get to see incredible craftsmanship and instruments, we take it. Then I believe we’re gonna be back in Texas and do a Houston show. Basically right now it’s just like we’re writing as much as we possibly can. It seems like things work in spurts that way. It’s always exciting when you hit a really big peak in your writing, and you’re just cranking out songs that you feel strongly about, so quickly. Then I’m sure we rarely miss South By Southwest. I think that’s the goal for this year, to really take it to the next level as far as introducing ourselves to as many new people as we can and see how they respond to the songs.

For more info on Brannigan:
Mikiel Houser First and foremost I am a music fan. I tried to be a musician, that didn't work out, so I decided to get into the music industry to help good music get out and be heard. Now I am here to see where it goes.
- L.A. Music Blog

" and Brannigan"

Texas based Pop- Rock band, Brannigan (formerly known as The Vehicle Reason), is causing a buzz with their catchy lyrics and rock inspired melodies. The 3-Piece band is made up of two brothers Jay Baker (Vocals/Guitar/Keys), Nick Baker (Vocals/Bass/Keys) and their close friend, Mac Carl (Drums/Vocals). Most likely or not if your a media junkie, you have already listened to Brannigan, their songs have been featured on hit MTV shows, The Hills and The Real World.

The unsigned band made a few changes with themselves in 2010, with a new name, new songs and brand new management. Upon the release of their song "Lucky Sound", the band quickly clogged the radio waves on iHeartRadio and have been the reigning #1 Alternative Rock song over 4 weeks in a row. The band will be releasing their much anticipated EP "Lucky Sound" in early 2011. Support this band on iHeartRadio and your local Alternative Rock stations, the request lines are waiting for you!

Watch a montage of their singles in this special video just for you! For more videos please head to their YouTube Channel at!
- MTV December 2010

"Pens Eye View"

featured Richie Frieman

The Texas-based band Brannigan may sound like a celebrity couple... But these boys (Jay Baker, Mac Carl, Nick Baker) are a lot deeper than many of the Hollywood celebrities folks can't seem to get enough of. They're not into music for the fame, the money, anything like that (those things are nice bonuses however). When we asked Mac about when it became clear that music was going to be a large part of his life, he said, "I think it was about the time I graduated college. I had a great job, and all I cared about was the band. Other times it's when you make sacrifices personally. The band is like a job, passion, marriage, and escape all at once, so it can really consume us all."

Brannigan, formerly The Vehicle Reason, has a new EP out, titled "The Lucky Sound", and you gotta take a few minutes to get into it. Again, we go to Mac for all the details: "We love pop music. Pop isn't a bad word to us like it is to some bands. On later tracks on the album, our indie side is well represented. It still lives in our singles, but we still keep that tight pop arrangement mind-set in this record. I think it is less selfish from an artist's perspective, and more in tune with the needs of today's listener." Brannigan is going to keep writing and keep working, so expect more after you download "The Lucky Sound". There's a lot more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ's.

XXQs: Brannigan (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

MC: I think interesting use of harmonies has always been a focus of our band. I love when people see their first live show and are shocked that they are represented live like they are on our records.

JB: In addition to our use of harmonies, I think we have a sound that is familiar to listeners without sounding exactly like someone they've heard in recent years. I really think we have sound that is all our own...especially when you see us live. Everyone is doing so many harmonies in the studio these days and you go see the show and realize it was all the lead singer adding layer after layer that the band can't recreate.

PEV: Hailing from Texas, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

MC: Growing up in Texas probably had some influence on our listening habits. Mostly, the three of us listened to what our parents did, which is fairly eclectic. Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Beatles, and Zeppelin are a commonality between all of us. Classic country such as people like Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Merle Haggard was always present too.

Aside from that, pretty much everything from the 50's rock and roll through 80's pop was regular listening input. I think the 80's pop is what made us all really appreciate great production. And like any other rock band, we have our later favorites like Jimmy Eat World, Thrice, and of course, Radiohead. Brit-pop and shoegazing has had a big influence on us, but I think that really made us stick out sonically in Texas from the beginning.

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?

MC: You know, there's a lot of really talented musicians from our area. But most of the popular music in the area is Texas Blues or country. When it comes to the rock scene in our area, most of it is really heavy southern metal. And that's just not our thing. So when we began touring regionally it was kind of a shock to people. It's funny, I think a lot of people were waiting for something that was a little more melody driven and song-oriented instead of seeing how loud they could play and how they could shred on their instruments.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Brannigan show?

MC: First of all, we try to represent our songs sonically like they are on the record. As a trio, it can be difficult. You'll see a lot of double-duty, like keys and bass or guitar being played at the same time by the same person. But we also believe a rock show should be fun and rowdy, so hopefully they would be a little beer-soaked, sweaty, and hoarse by the end of it.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

MC: Fuck yes. This is what it's about. JB-Me being the more anal of the bunch, I want everything in its right place. I usually focus on the technical stuff until we are halfway through the first song.

PEV: Formerly The Vehicle Reason, you say you have “a new name, new songs, new management...a whole new perspective”. What made for the change?

MC: You know, I've always had a bit of an issue with that line. We have a more focused perspective toward songwriting in general. I'd say we are the same band with a new name that represents who we are more accurately.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

MC: You know, that's a great question. It can come from watching the news, personal issues, or even inspiration from a friend and their life. But we also write melodies first on a regular basis. One thing that really seems to work for us is to take a great melody and work from there. A melody or progression has its own mood or emotion, and I believe that can be a good lyrical jumping-off point sometimes.

JB: The underlying inspiration for anything I do is what is happening around me. Whether it’s personal, local of national. As Mac stated before, music just flows out of us. Ideas for songs come from all around and can start really in any way. Sometimes I work on something at home and have it almost fleshed out and show it to the guys to complete and other times we just jam at rehearsal and songs develop themselves. Our best ideas come when we are all tag teaming an idea.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

MC: All the time. When Jay and I began playing together, it was nothing more than a creative outlet for us. After we wrote a few things we were proud of, we felt we should take it further. What I don't like remembering is how badly artist are treated when they begin. It's hard sometimes to see young bands struggle with that.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Brannigan?

MC: Sometimes people have a perception that we are cocky, or unapproachable. The truth is, we love meeting and talking with people. It's one aspect of the music business that never gets old.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?

MC: I think it was about the time I graduated college. I had a great job, and all I cared about was the band. Other times it's when you make sacrifices personally. The band is like a job, passion, marriage, and escape all at once, so it can really consume us all. That calls for some tough decisions.

JB: There hasn't been a defining moment for me. I just seem to keep doing more music and getting more involved the older I get. It started with our family DJ business and then to bands and now I'm a sound engineer as well. I love the production process and cannot wait until I get to explore that area more. It's everything that Mac stated above and more. It just seems to be something I can't get out of my life...and that's a good thing.

PEV: Tell us about your new EP aptly titled “The Lucky Sound". What can fans expect from this?

MC: I think our fans can expect a band that continues to be ourselves, but with a more focused approach. We love pop music. Pop isn't a bad word to us like it is to some bands. On later tracks on the album, our indie side is well represented. It still lives in our singles, but we still keep that tight pop arrangement mind-set in this record. I think it is less selfish from an artist's perspective, and more in tune with the needs of today's listener.

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?

MC: The best part is being on stage and meeting great people. The worst part is trying to order food for five guys at a drive-through. Travel is always fun and exciting, but you can get really tired of eating trash food.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

MC: For me it's the U.K. I just can't wait to get over there. It seems like it will be like meeting distant family members. They have so many things in common with Americans, but interesting musical and cultural differences that I look forward to studying.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

MC: It's great, but really hectic. Our Texas friends and fans are crazy. They party and rock so hard at shows. It's incredible. And they are always excited to know what is going on with us as a band. Our families have been awesome. We could have never done any of this without the support they have always given to us. I'm sure at times they wished we had become Vets and Dentists, but that has passed. They are always really proud of our accomplishments, as any parent probably would be.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

MC: I love dogs. Specifically Labradors. My family and I try to foster and place them in good homes. It's really fun and rewarding. Things are a little hectic with 4 or 5 of those guys around, but we like it crazy. All of us enjoy spending time at the lake, skiing and camping too. We don't get outdoors as much as we would like because of our chosen professions and outside interests, but we jump at the chance when we can. Jay really likes to engineer and run sound in his spare time too. I guess music is always present in some way in our spare time. He also is a huge History channel buff. In fact all of us really enjoy learning and studying different things that we find interesting. I guess that might be one of the surprising things for people to find out about us. We're knowledge whores. Jay and I are notorious for researching anything that we might purchase in the future, from handguns to guitars.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

MC: I think I'll go with a present artist, since people would expect me to say The Beatles or something like that. How about Dustin Kensrue of Thrice. I just have a wicked man-crush on that dude. He's an incredible singer, lyricist, and seemingly nice guy. I would choose him because I wouldn't have any idea how the project would sound. I mean, Thrice is one of those bands that can do anything. Whether it's electronic based like the Water EP, face-melting like Fire or some of the earlier punk influenced stuff, or more folky and soulful like his solo stuff, the guy just never misses. A great talent indeed. Dustin, if you read this, I'm not as weird as I probably sound right now. Please don't get a restraining order. That being said, let's be bros.

JB: I think my dream collaboration would be David Gilmour. The guy epitomizes guitar playing for me and also has an extremely versatile voice. To be in the studio with David Gilmour and soak up that guy's years of knowledge would be an end all for me.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

MC: You know, I can't really say. I'm in one of those periods where I'm listening to some older stuff that I've had for a while and have really learned to appreciate, like "Sea Change" by Beck, and Saves the Day's "Sound the Alarm." I should probably pay more attention to what's coming up.

JB: The last band I fell hard for was Band of Horses. I don't listen to a lot of new music, but what those guys have done on their last 3 albums is the best around in my opinion. I don't think we're the band to come to for up and comers.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

MC: I think Jay would probably be involved in production somehow. Maybe an engineer or producer at some level. Nick can only rock, so he'd be screwed. I'd probably work in the medical field again.

PEV: So, what is next for Brannigan?

MC: You know, that's a great question. We have a great team now. We've always done everything ourselves, and it's just overwhelming. And at the level we aspire to be, we need professionals to help us reach as many people as we can with the music. I guess touring and writing are always our goals. Doing as much of that as possible always seems like the right idea for us. But it really depends on how the new album is received. It's such a crazy business, you never really know what the next day holds for you.
- Pens Eye View May 2011

"ENVY Magazine (show review)"

Arctic Blast ‘07 be damned-hundreds of rock fans rolled their frozen asses out to Firewater Bar and Grill to catch a few of DFDub’s up-and-comers. Sandwiched between Kessler and headliner Miser were the boys from East Texas, The Vehicle Reason. The trio formed less than two years ago and has already made headlines at many local venues. Front man/guitarist Jay Baker and his brother/bassist Nick shared harmonic vocal duties on fan-favorites like “Wherever You Go” and “Words,” while drummer Mac Carl provided the syncopated backbone. The band’s influences range from the Beatles to Thrice, ensuring a face-melting experience for all fans. With a licensing deal
in the works, a full-length album completed and several record
labels showing interest, the future certainly looks bright for this threesome.
-Brant Croucher
- February 2007

"The Pine Log Feature"

The Vehicle Reason, a rock band from Longview, will make a stop at the Annex on Friday. The show starts at 8 p.m. with the opening act A Scenic Remembrance.
The Vehicle Reason has been playing together for about eight months. The three band members include guitarist/vocalist Jay Baker, 25 a former SFA student, his younger brother, bassist /vocalist Nick, 20, and drummer/vocalist Mac Carl, 26.
The band members grew up in Longview and attended Spring Hill High School. Their decision to start making music together came after a few jam sessions with Jay on guitar and Mac on drums. Both musicians had previous bands before Vehicle Reason and were already good friends. Jay, who recruited his little brother to play bass, said they manipulated Nick to get into the band.
“Getting Nick in the band was all part of our evil plan,” Jay said. Jay says it’s important that the band-members all have a mutual love for one another.
“We are a tight-knit band,” Jay said. “We are not only band-mates, we are friends and family. We might fight, but five minutes later everything is fine and that is important.”
Right now, The Vehicle Reason has five recorded songs. All three members write and create their music together. The slower-paced song “The Vehicle,” created in Jay’s grandfather’s shop, started with a three simple chords and the lyrics just seemed to fall into place, Jay said.
Jay says “The Vehicle” seems to have quite an impact on audiences. “I think everybody goes through what’s in that song,” he said. “It can mean 1,000 different things.”
The band has been touring for the past six months performing their current tracks.
Jay said band-members are always more critical on their performances.
“We hold ourselves to our standards,” he said. “The crowd may really be into it, but we are the biggest critics on ourselves.”
Mac said The Vehicle Reason has an energy that differs from other bands because they really want the audience to enjoy the music, not the madness of a rock concert.
“We want our music to promote more thought,” he said. “We just want more conscious listening, people should come, sit back and relax.”
Musical influences for the band vary between members; however, they all seem to agree on the Beatles and Pink Floyd. Jay likes Jimmy Eat World and Mac enjoys Radiohead.
The Vehicle Reason will be in the studio in late May recording with Alex Gerst, who has worked with many Dallas bands such as The Feds, Flickerstick, and Slow Roosevelt.
-Lindsey Petrossi

- April 2006

"Audio Leader Sennheiser and Ue3 Promotions Showcase Emerging Acts During SXSW in Austin at the Apple Bar Thursday, March 19"

SXSW 2009
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sennheiser, the world leader in microphone, RF-wireless and infrared sound transmission, and headphone transducer technology, will join forces with Ue3 Promotions for a free daytime music showcase on Thursday, March 19, from 12 noon-5 p.m. at the Apple Bar, 120 W. 5th Street in Austin, during the 2009 South By Southwest Music Conference and Festival.
The show – open to the public and requiring no SXSW badges or wristbands – will feature the Los Angeles-based Ruby Friedman Orchestra, Sennheiser’s Unsigned Artist of the Month for March 2009; Longview, Texas’ the Vehicle Reason; L.A. vocalist-songwriter Elyse Haren; Austin’s Dremt the End; and a special performance by Kemado Records artist Langhorne Slim.
The event will also include acoustic performances on the venue’s inside stage by Matt Hartke, Trey Lockerbie, Love at War, and Lunic.
Tim Moore, artist relations manager at Sennheiser, said, “With the number of acts and events at SXSW, we wanted to stand out by being involved with the best performers and partners. The Ue3 Promotions event is overflowing with great talent, which means our gear will be showcased in the best possible light.”
Jennifer Lyneis, president of Los Angeles based Ue3, said, “Sennheiser is first in microphone technology, so all the artists I am showcasing use their products. The Sennheiser marketing team has been nothing short of amazing in ensuring my efforts to have the best equipment available for these acts.”
Lyneis added, “I always like to host events with brands that give back to the community, and Sennheiser has focused attention on high-volume hearing loss and works hand-in-hand with the non-profit House Ear Institute to broaden awareness of this issue.”
Tyler, Texas-based Tripwire Films will be on hand to film the Sennheiser/Ue3 event in high definition and provide the acts with live footage for their use. Tripwire director Samuel Haun said, “We just completed the music video for the Vehicle Reason’s song ‘Firestorm,’ which is being released to radio in April, so we’re very excited to shoot the show.”
- Ue3

"SXSW 2008 show review"









"Harder Beat Magazine (show review)"

Anyone looking for good music should have stopped by Firewater Bar and Grill on this night. They would not have been disappointed. The opening band, The Vehicle Reason, was absolutely outstanding. Even though they played just five or six songs (with highlights being “Beautiful One” and “Bruises Will Fade), the entire crowd quickly got into their powerful and uplifting music. Their chops had the three-piece band sounding like a five piece, helping them to sell plenty of their newly released CDs. Members are Jay (guitar/vocals), Nick (bass/vocals) and Mac (drums). Catch them when you can, as The Vehicle Reason is the real deal.
-Tony Francis - December 2006

"New Car Smell"

Playing its first-ever metro gig, The Vehicle Reason is on a career path from Texas to TV.
By Charles Martin

Small advantages can pay big dividends down the road, especially when a band is in the process of starting its career. Jay Baker of Texas-based rock band The Vehicle Reason is still cramming in vocal lessons in between his full-time job and regional music gigs, trying to improve as a musician as much as he can.

“We rely pretty heavily on the vocals. We do a lot of harmonies and want to make sure they are perfect before we do them live,” Baker said. “Vocals are up-front and pretty hard to mask when you’ve missed a note.”

The band is playing its first Oklahoma gig Saturday, while its radio-ready debut album “Odds on Occurrence” is gunning for mainstream success. It’s their second stab at recording, after pulling together a demo EP just to score gigs. The album came out last fall and Baker said they are careful to pace their progress. “We have moments where we are just waiting around, anxious for something to happen, but we’ve just now got our press kit together so we can send out the album to the labels,” Baker said. “We haven’t finished with our legwork yet, so we have to remind each other to be patient and that we are on a good, steady path.”

The band’s covering all the bases, gigging as much as possible, putting out an album and promoting heavily. In the midst of all the distraction, they want to focus on maturing musically. “If we had the time, we’d all be in lessons to get better on our instruments,” Baker said. “I’m happy with how we’ve grown together as musicians, but individually, there is so much room for improvement, and that goes for anyone. Some of our favorite musicians have taken time for individual lessons in between albums, and they are these big rock stars.”

Guitar-driven, “Odds on Occurrence” fits easily among the alternative rock tracks of heartbreak and disenchantment that have been surging on the charts. The accessible sound has turned some heads both among audiences and in the industry, which helped the band score a licensing deal. “They are putting two of our songs on a compilation to push for TV, video games and movies,” Baker said. “I know some bands choose not to do it, but I don’t see why, especially as an unsigned band.” The band’s lawyer told them that unsigned bands generally don’t make it onto such compilations, so the guys are encouraged their music is making headway. Licensing deals can elevate bands quickly, as television increasingly is becoming a dominant medium for band exposure.

Despite the benefits, Baker still strives for play on the FM dial. “Even though the internet and iPods are big, radio is still a huge tool for musicians. It’s the best way to reach fans,” Baker said. “That’s the thing with licensing: You don’t know if you want to be the band in the Lincoln commercial or on a TV show. You can lose your credibility, which I don’t really get, but the music industry is fickle.”
- Oklahoma Gazette Weekly

"Local Band Can Cook"

The Vehicle Reason set to kick off Alleyfest, show off musical talents at downtown event

The opening act at Alley Fest 2007 plans to bring a cooking demonstration to the Center Street stage next Friday. That musical term, cooking, also known as clicking or getting in synch, starts at the songwriting stage for The Vehicle Reason, a three-piece rock band comprised of Longview natives who tour Texas and neighboring states. It continues through rehearsals and culminates during on-stage performances. “Usually, you can tell by how it feels,” The Vehicle Reason guitarist Jay Baker said. “Everybody grins or smiles. You just know that everybody is feeling the same thing, when you just kind of look at each other and know: that’s the direction you want to go with that song.” The Vehicle Reason-the band got the name from an engineer who blames cars for pollution that could sweep humans off the planet-plays original tunes influenced by a spectrum flowing from church music to Pink Floyd. Baker, 26, and his 21-year-old brother, keyboard and lead vocalist Nick Baker, grew up amid sounds emanating from the career of their father, David, a 22-year disc jockey, and their mother, Angela, the organist for the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints congregation. “It was always there, whether Beethoven or Tchaikovsky or The Doors or Donny Osmond,” the elder brother said. He and drummer Mac Carl, 27, add a symphonic hue to their writing and performing from their days as competing skins players in the Spring Hill band program. “Mac likes some of the harder stuff,” Baker said of his former competitor on the drumline. “Nick likes some of weirder stuff, and I guess it’s just what we make when we get together-it all comes out.” Something in that mix seems to be paying off, in the debut CD, “Odds on Occurrence,” and a recently inked licensing agreement with Los Angeles-based BK Entertainment Group. Baker continued his description of the creative groove the 2-year-old band is hitting. “Most of the time, it starts with an idea,” he said. “And we will try to build on it. It can be a guitar riff, a chord progression, a solo melody, or a vocal melody. Would this part work for a verse? Could it be a chorus? Is it worth starting over, musically? We all work together.” “Walls and Ceilings,” the third track on the new disc, is a good example of the band’s collaborative recipe. “I wrote a chord progression the wound up becoming the verse,” Baker said. “This piece kind of hung around, and Nick and I had played it together and he had his melody line. And we just kept repeating it, and eventually got some lyrics for it. Sometimes, it’s effortless, and sometimes it takes a lot of debate. Sometimes, the ideas seem to flow freely and everybody agrees and everything works. I’ve got songs I’ve been working on for a year.”
-Glenn Evans

- Longview News Journal


Brannigan is putting the finishing touches on their new record, set to be released in early 2011.

Dead Reckoning 2008
Odds On Occurrence 2006

You can purchase Dead Reckoning and Odds On Occurrence on iTunes under the name The Vehicle Reason.



2010 has been an eventful year for Longview, TX based alternative rock band BRANNIGAN (formerly The Vehicle Reason). A new name, new songs, new management...a whole new perspective.

"We did a lot of great things as The Vehicle Reason," says Jay Baker, singer and guitarist for the trio, “but it was time to reboot. We dug deep and found what it was we were looking for." The band, rounded out by hard hitting drummer Mac Carl, and Jay's brother Nick grinding the bass and splitting vocal duties, certainly have accomplished an impressive amount of success in the short time they've been together so far. As a newcomer they quickly made their presence felt by independently recording and releasing two successful albums which garnered enthusiastic reviews, landing big licensing deals with MTV shows “The Real World" and “The Hills", and by doing what any great rock band does best...touring. "We are a true touring band in every sense of the term," confirms Mac. They performed such elite events as the Atlantis Music conference in Atlanta and the coveted South by Southwest in Austin two years in a row, as well as countless miles logged on the road playing clubs across the U.S.

In early 2010 they began production on their newest batch of songs with producer Matt Noveskey, bassist of platinum act Blue October and founder of Wanderlust A.M.P (artist management and production). The team's chemistry led to a full artist development deal and the guys have seized the opportunity to re-approach the changing industry with a fresh perspective. Armed with a new EP aptly titled 'The Lucky Sound', full of pop sensibilities and hard edge indie-progressive riffs, BRANNIGAN is prepping for a winter release and gearing up for a schedule of heavy touring and rigorous promotion to bring these new songs to the masses and achieve a new level of success as artists. "These guys are the real deal," adds Noveskey."Songs like these are undeniable and when you see a three piece act tear through a live set with their brand of intensity, it reconfirms the notion that there are still REAL rock bands out there."

Bassist Nick Baker couldn’t agree more, "Everything has led us to this moment. We truly believe that this is OUR time.” Drawing comparisons from such acts as Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio, and Green Day, BRANNIGAN is set to pave the way for the next generation of hardworking, blue-collared American rock bands.